June 10th, 2008
02:06 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: White House hopefuls worlds apart on the issues

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - If you had a chance to watch the John McCain and Barack Obama speeches this week laying out their respective economic strategies, you saw two very different approaches to dealing with what the American public sees as the top issue in the campaign. They strongly disagree on everything from tax cuts, health care, free trade, energy and the national debt.

If you had a chance to listen to their most recent pronouncements on national security, you saw two very different approaches when it comes to the war in Iraq and dealing with a potential nuclear threat from Iran. They strongly disagree on a timetable for a troop pullout from Iraq. They also disagree on how best to engage the Iranians diplomatically.

The same goes, by the way, on many other issues, including some of the major social divisions in the country. McCain, for example, opposes abortion rights; Obama supports abortion rights. They similarly disagree on gun rights, and the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

McCain says he would nominate U.S. Supreme Court candidates along the lines of conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Obama says he likes liberals like Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

All of which underlines that this coming general election campaign will enable the American voters to focus in on real issues where the two candidates strongly disagree. We will be learning a whole lot more about their positions in the coming weeks and months – and that is very good for the country. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Vig

    Women's RIght to Choose – yep, choose HCR as your write-in on the November ballot. Barbara Boxer is another party mouthpiece. How can she get up there and minimize the abuse Hillary Clinton endured and still does by the media and those bobble-headed talking heads? How can she get up there and state McCain is a zero when it comes to domestic violence when the Democratic party and B.O. allowed domestic violence of all sorts agains Hillary Clinton? Hypocrite.

    June 10, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Casey in Ca.

    You know what is nice about the economic situation we are in? It's literally recreated the family as community – generations living together. True, it's mostly because now, in this crisis, we cannot afford otherwise, but is that completely negative?

    I think not. The rest of the world understands that some problems are too big to leave to individuals and that you just cannot trust corporate greed to "do the right thing".

    Whenever anyone starts harping on the "tax and spend" democrats, I just discuss the "tax and war" republicans. How they would like you to not perceive the Iraq war as spending, because, of course, they tell you it is necessary to get the "terrorists". Baloney. It's a grab for oil and a huge giveaway to the military complex.

    It's earmarks of the worst kind and the largest degree. Shame on you John McCain! I'd rather have tax and spend on the American public than tax and spend on killing Americans and anyone who gets in the way.

    Casey, Ca.

    June 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    McCain – The economy is fundamentally sound.[??]
    Stay in Iraq for a hundred years if necessary.[??]
    Stay the course on the relationship with Cuba.[??]
    Change the health care system ever so slightly. [??]
    Don't use diplomacy at the leadership level.[??]

    Differences, hell I hope so!!

    June 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. NC Is Going Blue

    Does Brian in Knoxville, Tn have a job or does he get paid by the McCain campaign to blog 1000 comments a day for him. I know he's doesn't get paid by Hillary cause she has no money.
    Oh wait, maybe he's the moderator........seems about right given it's CNN

    June 10, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. OPT OUT

    The claim that Obama supports universal health care is a FALSE CLAIM. Obama's platform supports the STATUS QUO. He proposes to leave health care as is (he supports a health insurance provision for children, which is already a mandate of most state governments). He shows a complete lack of understanding of the economics of health care, which involves UNIVERSAL CONTRIBUTION as well as UNIVERSAL COVERAGE so that the healthy (who need to spend few health care dollars) subsidize the ill (who need to spend many health care dollars). Obama's plan allows those who have good reason to believe they will not get sick to opt out of contributing. It's akin to proposing a wealth redistribution program in which only the poor contribute. What's the point? Obama's slogan should be OPT OUT.

    June 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Joe

    I believe that the differences between Senator McCain and Senator Obama can best be summed up in one general statement. America's past versus America's future. The world has changed dramatically since the late 1990's, and unfortunately the American political leadership has not kept up with that change. Senator McCain (while I respect his service and his courageous military service) represents just more of the same. Senator Obama can change not only how we approach important public policy issues in this country, but (maybe even more importantly) how people see America around that world. That is why I think he represents the best hope for the future in this election.

    June 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Former Dem

    A vote for Obama means that are taxes will increase. Do you really want to work for 7 months before your tax bill is paid? You think it's tough now to pay your bills, what until the liberals take control of BOTH the White House and the Congress. Heaven help us.

    June 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Linda

    McCain is just too old at this point-no matter how highly the AARP speaks of the aged.

    June 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. No Obama!!!

    Ohio does'nt WANT Obama!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Terri

    McCain will help us save money on gas so we can treat ourselves and family to a nice dinner or perhaps by our children school supplies.

    Go Obama

    June 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. WhosehadEnough

    How about hearing Sen. McCain denouncie President Bush for his veto of a bill that would ban waterboarding. During many Republican primary debates agains the likes of Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson, Sen McCain has emphatically stated the United States does not torture........Let's see how the Senator stands on this issue before we start talking about potential Supreme Court nominations!!

    June 10, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. WordsMatter

    yes, but Mcsamey is so old and mcsamey, he is just a mcbush so oldie and so samey mcsame, soooo old and sooo same, mcsamey is very old, he is grandpa mcsamey, just so old.

    June 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. sns31chlt

    To Sarah, MP Scott and others who questions Clinton supporters.

    I really cannot speak for people in any state but MI and FL, but in those two states you have whole states of votes whose vote was not counted at all, or they were counted as half people. I am from FL myself and my family there all tells me that they feel like they have been disenfranchised by their own party and my Dad and some of my siblings there have already re-registered to leave the Democratic party. They and other people in FL feel like Obama was hand selected by the DNC and not really voted into office by the full will of the people which makes the whole primary process and Obama's nomination questionable at best. He will be remembered as winning this primary through disenfranchisement just like Bush won the White House in FL. I can understand where these Floridians are coming from as they have had their votes stolen from them before not too long ago by the Republican Party and it must be a real slap in the face to have your own party do it. Because of this, everyone except my mother plans on voting McCain in my family and I come from a family of 9 and we are all democrats (or at least we all were before this). Since I live in NC I guess I am not so hard core on my feelings on this issue although I myself have re-registered to vote as "no party" I would vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket. A few in my family down in FL say they are voting McCain even if she is on the ticket, but to me, since the election was botched and the vote does not reflect the whole voice of the people, the only fair solution is to put Clinton on the ticket. If Obama chooses another VP then I will be joining the many other Dems from back home that I know, and even some here in NC in voting for McCain in November. I do not like or trust any of the other VP canidates so as much as some Obama fans might like to label this as bitter actions, it is really more of I want to know everything about our VP as well as we have come to know both Obama/ Hillary/ and McCain over the past 18 months, and with just 5 months left I do not think we have the time to establish trust enough to vote for any of the other 19 people besides Hillary that are being considered. You may not agree with this, but then unless you are in FL and MI, then your vote counted, you did not have your vote stripped from you for actions your party leaders are responsible for that you had no control over. Also, these people all have the right to vote for who they want, even if it goes against your feelings and thoughts on the issue, which is part of being an American and their right. You guys who like to see it as childish retaliation have not even stopped to think that maybe these voters do not trust Obama. They see his ties to Rezko, his support of Wright for 20 years and the fact that Obama made him part of his campaign, and they doubt him. They read about his ties to the energy company Exelon and realize that he is connected to the distribution of natural gas all over the North East USA and realize that he is somewhat responsible for energy hikes. They see him claim to not take money from lobbyists and then read articles that say the opposite and it raises questions. Then his flip-flopping on key issues like Healthcare and claiming he did not support the war in Iraq although he has certainly voted to fund this war more than once, and they begin to lose trust. You people need to consider the fact that maybe Obama reading a memorized speech that someone else wrote is not as impressive to some as it is to others. To me reading a speech is simple, winning a debate is hard and Obama did not deliver on that end even canceling debates because he knew he did not do well with them. Perhaps Obama just did not earn the trust of voters who want to vote for McCain!

    June 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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